The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Hoboken, New Jersey will be moved from Saturday to Wednesday next year because of unchecked lawlessness and drunkenness.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer said she was changing the parade from a weekend to a weekday to “reduce the amount of partying that occurs.”
If “the out-of-control atmosphere,” continues, she warned, she will consider cancelling the event altogether.
Town authorities say they have had enough after two women informed police that they had been sexually assaulted over the weekend, according to The New York Times.
Meanwhile, officials at Hoboken’s main hospital, Hoboken University Medical Center, admitted 166 people on Saturday. This was their highest one-day total at the hospital, Bart Meehan, the nurse manager of the emergency room, told the paper.
Almost a quarter of these were for excessive intoxication. 15 patients had lacerations, nine presented with head injuries and the hospital recorded nine assault victims.
Meehan added that the hospital had prepared based on past experience and had made provisions for a “disaster.”
The New Jersey city, just across the Hudson from Manhattan, attracts tens of thousands of young revellers to the celebration every year.
The locals open the bars at 9 a.m. resulting in heavy drinking during the day.
The parade was the scene of very drunk and disorderly behavior this past weekend.
New Jersey’s police chief and mayor held a news conference on Tuesday and said there had been 34 arrests, an increase on 25 from 2010.
When local firefighters responded to an emergency call they were greeted by an intoxicated group on a balcony which spat and poured beer at them. Someone also threw a flower plant down according to fire Chief Richard Blohm.
Police reports detailed cases of drunken men on the prowl. A 19-year-old came at a group of three people armed with a knife. Another man kicked a woman after her fiancée had words with him. And a man wearing only green underpants vandalized the banister of a stairwell before urinating.